Lesson Plan: Chatter - Our Inner Voice

Chatter and Our Inner Voice

Psychologist Ethan Kross talked about our so-called inner voice, the chatter we experience and its potential effects.


In this lesson, students will view videos of Ethan Kross, psychologist and author of the book "Chatter." He talks about our so-called inner voice and shares tools people can use to improve mental and physical well-being. After viewing the videos, students will reflect on their own inner voice and consider which tool(s) they may implement when they feel chatter.


  • SET-UP:

    This lesson offers several options for you to use with your students whether you are teaching in class, using a hybrid model, or engaging through distance learning. It can be completed in steps as a class or students can move at their own pace and complete the activities independently.

    You can post links to the videos in the lesson along with the related handouts and engage in discussion to share responses on a discussion board or learning management system.

    You can also save and share the following Google resources for students to use with this lesson.

    Vocabulary Chart: Chatter: Our Inner (Google Doc) Students can research the definitions of the terms associated with each video they view.

    Handout with Questions: Chatter: Our Inner Voice (Google Doc)

    In Google, choose "File" then "Make a Copy" to get your own copy. You can make any needed adjustments in the instructions such as which activities students need to complete, when it is due, etc. and then make it available to them via Google.


    Ask students to view the following video clip to establish background information on the topic. Use the questions that follow to guide class discussion.

    Video Clip 1: Chatter and Our Inner Voice (2:01)

    • Discuss the differences between rumination and worry.

    • According to Ethan Kross, why does chatter make it difficult for us to perform?

    Have students view the following video clips and respond to the accompanying questions. They can watch each video independently or view a video with a partner. You can also jigsaw this portion of the lesson by assigning a specific video for students to view or by giving them a choice to select a program they would like to view. Students should respond to the questions on the accompanying handout and be prepared to share them in class discussion.

    Video Clip 2: Venting and Problem Solving (4:54)

    • Describe why venting can be beneficial to people when they are experiencing chatter as Ethan Kross discusses.

    • According to Ethan Kross, what is the formula for good chatter support?

    • What should you consider when you choose to share chatter with someone?

    • How can you help support someone when they want to share their chatter with you?
  • Video Clip 3: Tools to Harness Chatter (1:30)

    What are the three categories of tools Ethan Kross describes, that we can use to manage our chatter?

  • Video Clip 4: Self-Help Tools to Manage Chatter (4:30)

    Explain the distancing tools that Ethan Kross discusses.

  • Video Clip 5: Rituals to Counter Chatter (2:41)

    • How can engaging in rituals help with chatter?
  • Video Clip 6: Meditation to Manage Chatter (3:03)

    • How can meditation help with chatter?

    • Explain Ethan Kross' perspective on "living in the moment."
  • Video Clip 7: The Placebo Effect and Chatter(3:45)

    • What is the placebo effect?

    • Who was Anton Mesmer?

    • According to Ethan Kross, how can people benefit from non-deceptive placebos?
  • Video Clip 8: Environmental Tools to Manage Chatter (2:24)

    • How can people benefit from awe inspiring experiences?
  • Video Clip 9: Soft Fascination and Chatter (1:30)

    • How can people benefit from soft fascination?
  • Video Clip 10: Effect of Social Media on Chatter (3:10)

    • Explain how social media can affect chatter as Ethan Kross discusses.

    Create groups of students so there is representation of each video among the group members. Students can take turns sharing the information they learned and take notes on other students' programs. Then, engage in whole class discussion about the tools that were discussed in the video clips.


    Have each student reflect on their inner voice. Ask them to consider which tool(s) they would consider implementing the next time they feel chatter. They can write their reflections down or share their thoughts with the class if they feel comfortable.

Additional Resources


  • Antidote
  • Asset
  • Catharsis
  • Caveat
  • Censor
  • Compensatory
  • Disarray
  • Harness
  • Meditation
  • Perspective
  • Placebo
  • Psychology
  • Restorative
  • Ritual
  • Rumination
  • Temporal
  • Vulnerability
  • Worry


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